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FA Carling Premiership, 25/3/00
Tottenham Hotspur
Tall tales
By Pete Fincham

It was an attempt to indoctrinate me that failed. 1981, the magic of Ricardo Villa and Ossie Ardiles graced the 1st Division, and my father was pushing me ever nearer to wearing that Tottenham badge he had. I was holding out for Watford, but Liverpool were pulling my attentions with my distant cousin Ronnie playing for them, not to mention the kickings I was still getting in the playground for supporting a Division 2 nothing team!

Old man Fincham was not giving up, though, and sat me down to watch the replay of the Manchester City cup final as a treat, as my sister had been put to bed and was hopelessly jealous if she knew I was up watching TV. The only previous time that had been allowed was when a year earlier she found me watching the Muppets, a programme that started at 7pm and an hour after bedtime! She kicked up such a fuss that my parents never showed favour again. Such was the vengeance of a four year old!

Anyhow, the wonders of a brand new television (with CEEFAX!) beamed into our house a great match, finished off with Ricky's great solo goal to win it in extra time. Spurs had won and Keith was like a big kid. I wondered why I had never seen Watford on the TV, and when I would go all silly like that? Living in Devon, how was I to see Watford if they never got on television?

Soon afterwards we went to see my grandparents in Watford, and with that came a visit to my other relatives who supported Watford. I asked them about the team, how they were doing and when they would be on TV? The answers were not generally optimistic, as we had never been in the top flight, and after a difficult season weren't really considered likely to go up. There was no indication that we would be moving back to Hertfordshire either - or, more accurately, Keith hadn't yet informed us of his affair and the forthcoming divorce plans he had for the family - so I was left in a state of limbo. Should I go with Spurs as they were on TV and my Dad liked them, should I watch out for Liverpool, or should I stick with the rest of my family and cheer on the Golden Boys through reading the newspapers and watching the results?

Well, the Golden Boys held onto my heart, although I don't know that they knew it at the time. But they do now!

Thought: Sometimes not even persistence is enough to break an irrational bond!